Work Programme - Advice Needed

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Dec 27 2012 17:33
Work Programme - Advice Needed

Hey guys. I was told by my new adviser at the job centre that I am being put on the work programme in January. I have a 40 minute meeting with her on the 2nd which she said would be going over my details ready for it etc, Im also assuming this is the meeting where they officially say I'm doing it/ask me if I want to. Needless to say, I DO NOT want to do it. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice as far as how to approach the meeting and how to refuse etc, preferably from experience.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Dec 27 2012 18:07

Which scheme is it and how long have you been on jsa?

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Dec 27 2012 18:38

Its the Work Programme scheme ? I have been on JSA since around September/October time.

Sinzer
Offline
Joined: 12-05-11
Dec 27 2012 19:15

This september/october? As in a couple of months ago? You're not obligated to go on the Work Programme you need to be unemployed for 9/12 months depending on age.

edit: this is for specifically JSA. Those who were recently on IB/ESA may be able to be forced into it sooner as i'm not sure on that

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Dec 27 2012 22:50

If it was me, I would opt out on the grounds that the Work Programme doesn't work

Here are the statistics for Croydon for the percentage of people who found jobs lasting six months (job outcomes as a proportion of referrals):

Local Authority: Croydon
All Work Programme: 3.7%
JSA 18 to 24: 2.0%
JSA 25 and over: 4.3%
JSA early entrants: 4.4%
New ESA claimants: 3.2%
All other claimant categories scored 0%

Work Programme performance statistics: Inclusion analysis

Edit: I was on JSA for five months and the only workfare schemes I was offered and declined were apprenticeships and work experience.

Quote:
This september/october? As in a couple of months ago? You're not obligated to go on the Work Programme you need to be unemployed for 9/12 months depending on age... this is for specifically JSA

That's the impression I was under, but do you know of any evidence?

I thought that after nine months or so they sent you on mandatory work activity, but then I saw this DWP response to a FOI request which has a range of referral dates.

Sinzer
Offline
Joined: 12-05-11
Dec 27 2012 23:19
wojtek wrote:
Edit: I was on JSA for five months and the only workfare schemes I was offered and declined were apprenticeships and work experience.

Quote:
This september/october? As in a couple of months ago? You're not obligated to go on the Work Programme you need to be unemployed for 9/12 months depending on age... this is for specifically JSA

That's the impression I was under, but do you know of any evidence?

I thought that after nine months or so they sent you on mandatory work activity, but then I saw this DWP response to a FOI request which has a range of referral dates.

There's page 6 on this http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/the-work-programme.pdf

JSA recipients age 18-24 referral point from 9 months into their claim (12 months for 25+yo). Although those who are "seriously disadvantaged in the labour market" referral point is from 3 months. I'm not sure on how they'd determine who is and isn't seriously disadvantaged though.

I initially thought the same about MWA but by the time i hit 10 months into my claim i was only referred onto the Work Programme which i've been on since august although my last appointment was in early october and when my advisor was to book another their computer system went down so he couldn't and i've had no further contact with them since. I seem to have fallen through the cracks.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Dec 28 2012 00:15

Sorry to here about your situation, when you say you seem to have fallen through the cracks have your benefits been stopped?

May I ask what being on the Work Programme is like, is there room to organise? What do your workmates (who presumably are on minimum wage) think of it?

Thanks for the link and solidarity! (not that I can do a fat lot)

Sorry for hijacking the thread Croydonian, have we been of much help thus far?

Sinzer
Offline
Joined: 12-05-11
Dec 28 2012 00:40
wojtek wrote:
Sorry to here about your situation, when you say you seem to have fallen through the cracks have your benefits been stopped?

Oh no, i've just not got any appointments. I still get my dole money as i'm doing everything i'm obligated to do such as signing on at the jobcentre. If it's found out i doubt i'd be in the shit as i've not missed any appointments or anything it's just i've not been given any more and i think they've forgotten about me. It's like i'm on the Work Programme and not on it at the same time.

wojtek wrote:
May I ask what being on the Work Programme is like, is there room to organise? What do your workmates (who presumably are on minimum wage) think of it?

Thanks for the link and solidarity! (not that I can do a fat lot)

Sorry for hijacking the thread Croydonian, have we been of much help thus far?

At my provider (there's a couple in my city) people don't really hang about. There's a small waiting area but generally there's no real opportunity to strike up conversation with other claimants without standing around for a few hours. It may be due to the date/time of my previous appointments but there wasn't that many people waiting to be seen. At most one other person and maybe 5 or so in total in the building with their advisors.

I didn't really have any problems with the place tbh. I haven't been told to go on any courses, work for free or anything. It was just like going to the job centre to sign on only you're chatting with your advisor for half an hour about what you've done and what you're thinking of doing. I'm probably just lucky though considering at the time i hadn't been unemployed for a year yet and i've had various jobs in the past with recent references and a decent CV.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Jan 1 2013 19:41

Ok so its tommorow. Im still a bit worried. I really dont have a clue what they are trying to do. Also because I told them I forgot my diary thing when it turned out at my last meeting I was signing on that day and so realized I was fucked because nothing was in there, my adviser did a verbal one with me. I got the money fine, and I just managed to bullshit it all on the spot, but now I have to try and remember what I said and write in my diary and if it doesn't match I might be fucked. Also theres that and thinking of 6 new lies for tommorow.

I dont know really what to do/how to approach it. I'll note down the statistics and things, so I can back myself up, and Ive still got the print off of where it says Universal Job Match isn't mandatory although that might be useless as apparently that's going to change with the new year.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Jan 1 2013 22:36

Don't let the fuckers grind you down. If they do make you sign up to UJ remember to NOT tick the box which says

“I authorise DWP to view my accounts , including jobsearch activity, feedback and notes”

and to UNtick the box which goes

"I would like to receive DWP email messages".

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Jan 2 2013 11:57

Ahhh the cunts, must not of seen that other box for the email messages because I still got an email from it a while ago with a list of jobs even though I thought I had de registered. I tried to get on and it wouldn't let me, so it would suggest I had successfully de reigstered, but then I got the email and it confused/pissed me off massively. Maybe they keep the email address' anyway even if you de register.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Jan 3 2013 22:39

Ok so heres the update

What happened

1. She checked my info and re printed job seekers agreement. Interestingly, one of things it says under "what i will do to identify and apply
for jobs" is checking jobmatch for jobs 1 times a week at least. It would look as if they are now making universal job match compulsory although she
didnt say anything specific about it to me. I lied last time and told her I had signed up to it.

2. She explained how now instead of signing on with some one down stairs with my diary, showing my green appointment card etc
I would now have to complete a different form for my activities, and once they had checked it then and there the money would then be paid and I could go

3. I asked if the work programme was mandatory. She said yes. I explained to her what I had read on the DWP site, that it would only be mandatory for my age group
after 9 months. After 3 months however, it can be made mandatory if you are "especially disavantaged on the labour market". I asked if it was the case that I had
one of these disadvantages as my claim started in October and she explained how it was my age and the fact that I am NEET (not in education employment or training).
I asked what would happen if I refused to go on the work programme right then and there and she basically said she would tell A4E (the provider Im being put onto) and I could get sanctioned. She asked why I didnt want to do it and I said because it doesn't work by the own standards but I didnt get to quote her the statistics. To be honest I didn't have
the confidence after then. I signed various bits of paper agreeing and she gave me some paperwork.

The paperwork

1. Copy of my new job seekers agreement
2. A letter about changing of signing arrangements explaining the new process of singing on and completing the new form they call es24 wp
3. My es24 wp form for the next time I sign on with a table at the back for writng down my activities
4. The Work Programme start notification letter which looked and read like this

Today, I noticed I had a missed call from a number I didnt recognise. I called it and heard an automated message saying it was A4E and explaining how the call was
going to be recorded. I hung up before I got through to a person. They called backat 7 30. I picked up. They asked me for the first 2 letters of my national
insurance number, my post code, whether I had any illnesses and whether I had caring responsibilities. They then booked me in for an appointment next Thursday
and told me where their office was.

What I need/want

I am pretty sure I do not in actual fact qualify for the category of "especially disadvantaged on the labour market" and I think they are doing this against their own rules and forcing me into it.
I do not want to do this and I want to get off of this as soon as possible. I need advice on how to approach this meeting where I am sure they will try to get me to sign a bunch of shit I dont have to and just generally what me and my local can do. We are in the process of organising a meeting as a local to discuss our options but we need as much information as we can get.

wojtek
Offline
Joined: 8-01-11
Jan 4 2013 00:48

For A4E, have a look at sites like JohnnyVoid (who is excellent) and Corporate Watch. Selfish perhaps, but I haven't got to that stage yet so don't much about it/ haven't bothered to find out.

Quote:
I am pretty sure I do not in actual fact qualify for the category of "especially disadvantaged on the labour market" and I think they are doing this against their own rules and forcing me into it.

No doubt this wording is deliberately vague in order to be empower the DWP/ adviser, the decision as to whether a claimant is 'especially disadvantaged' being an entirely subjective one. I imagine it also has the handy effect of instilling fear and just enough hope in the claimant to keep him/her submissive. I'm glad to see your local helping you out.

A couple of seperate things, I wonder if the pastoral colour scheme of the JCPs and the predominantly female workforce is a conscious decision to offset the DWP's stick, also with the things going online, e.g. UJ, whether we will see further attacks on JCP workers' pay and conditions...?

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Feb 14 2013 16:14

BUMP

So I was sent a letter last week saying that I now have an appointment tommorow. Along with all the usual things saying call if you cant come have language interpretation needs etc etc this is the important bit it said

"At this appointment we will go through what we have agreed you will achieve as part of your work programme employment plan. You will need to bring with you evidence of your achievements since the last time we discussed your progress".

So Im guessing they are trying to get me to sign another thing I dont have to, to which I will refuse. Im going to bring the FOI request reply from dwp saying Im not obliged to sing any company documents this time.

I looked on donotsign.com again and whilst they mention action plans they don't mention the specific one above although Im assuming they are the same thing.

The only thing that worries me is the providing evidence bit. Should I just not bring anything and refuse on the same grounds as my not signing or should I just fabricate some stuff. Also it is signed by some who in brackets has got (Enterprise Coach/lws) next to their name. I am assuming this is to do with the fact that I bullshitted that I was looking into self employment at the end of the last (and first) time I was there a couple of months ago etc.